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Ask how you did, and often, with intent
Of being officious, be impertinent;
All which were such soft pastimes, as in these
Love was as subtily catch'd, as a disease;
But being got it is a treasure sweet,
Which to defend is harder than to get:
And ought not be profan'd on either part,
For though 'tis got by chance, ’tis kept by art.
on FREDERICK count PALATINE of The Rhy NE, ANI, THE LADY ELIZABETh,
Being married on St. Valentine's day.
HAIL bishop Valentine, whose day this is,
All the air is thy diocese,
And all the chirping choristers
*And other birds are thy parishioners:
Thou marry'st every year
The lyric lark, and the grave whispering dove;
The sparrow, that neglects his life for love;
The household bird with the red stomacher;
Thou mak’st the blackbird speed as soon,
As doth the goldfinch or the halcyon;
The husband cock looks out, and straight is sped,
And meets his wife, which brings her feather-bed.
This day more cheerfully than ever shine.
This day, which might inflamethyself, old Valentine
UN's EAsoNABLE man, statue of ice, *
What could to country’s solitude entice
Thee, in this year’s cold and decrepid time
Nature’s instinct draws to the warmer clime
Ev’n smaller birds, who by that courage dare
In numerous fleets sail through their sea, the air.
What delicacy can in fields appear,
Whilst Flora herself doth a frize jerkin wear?
Whilst winds do all the trees and hedges strip
Of leaves, to furnish rods enough to whip
Thy madness from thee, and all springs by frost
Having tak’n cold, and their sweet murmurs lost?
Away, thou changeling motley humourist,
Leave me, and in this standing wooden chest,
Consorted with these few books, let me lie
In prison, and here be coffin'd, when I die:
Here are God's conduits, grave divines; and here
Is Nature's secretary, the philosopher;
And wily statesmen, which teach how to tie
The sinews of a city’s mystic body;
Here gathering chroniclers, and by them stand
Giddy fantastic poets of each land.
Shall I leave all this constant company,
And follow headlong wild uncertain thee *
First swear by thy best love here, in earnest,
(If thou, which lov'st all, canst love any best)
Thou wilt not leave me in the middle street,
Though some more spruce companion thou dost
Not though a captain do come in thy way [meet;
Bright parcel gilt, with forty dead men's pay;
Not though a brisk perfum’d pert courtier
Ueign with a nod thy courtesy to answer;
Nor come a velvet justice with a long
Great train of blue-coats, twelve or fourteen strong,
Wilt thou grin or fawn on him, or prepare
A speech to court his beauteous son and heir "
For better or worse take me, or leave me:
To take and leave me is adultcry.
Sooner may one guess, who shall bear away
The infantry of London hence to India;
And sooner may a gulling weather-spy,
By drawing forth Heav'n's scheme, tell certainly
What fashion'd hats, or ruffs, or suits, next year
Our giddy-headed antic youth will wear,
Than thou, when thou depart'st from me, can show
Whither, why, when, or with whom, thou would'st
But how shall I be pardon'd my offence, [go.
That thus have sinn'd against my conscience 2
Now we are in the street; he first of all,
Improvidently proud, creeps to the wall;
And so imprison'd, and hemm'd in by me,
Sells for a little state his liberty;
Yet though he cannot skip forth now to greet
Every fine silken painted fool we meet,
He them to him with amorous smiles allures,
And grins, smacks, shrugs, and such an itch en-
As 'prentices or school-boys, which do know
Of some gay sport abroad, yet dare not go.
Let him ask his. Though Truth and Falsehood be
Near twins, yet Truth a little elder is.
Be busy to seek her; believe me this,
He's not of none, nor worst, that seeks the best.
To adore, or scorn an image, or protest,
May all be bad. Doubt wisely, in strange way
To stand inquiring right, is not to stray;
To sleep or run wrong, is. On a huge hill,
Cragged and steep, Truth stands, and he, that will
Reach her, about must and about it go;
And what the hill's suddenness resists, win so,
Yet strive so, that before age, death's twilight,
Thy soul rest, for none can work in that night.
To will implies delay, therefore now do :
Hard deeds the body's pains; hard knowledge to
The mind's endeavours reach; and mysteries
Are like the Sun, dazzling, yet plain to all eyes.
Keep the truth, which thou hast found; men do not
In so ill case, that God hath with his hand [stand
Sign'd kings' blank-charters, to kill whom they hate,
Nor are thy vicars, but hangmen, to fate.
Fool and wretch, wilt thou let thy soul be ty'd
To man's laws, by which she shall not be try’d
At the last day Or will it then boot thee
To say a Philip or a Gregory,
A Harry or a Martin, taught me this 2 -
ls not this excuse for mere contiaries,
Faually strong? cannot both sides say so [know ;
That thou may'st rightly obey power, her bounds
Those past her nature and name's chang'd; to be
Then humble to her is idolatry.