Out of many songs which, partly at the request of friends, partly for my own recreation, were by me long since composed, I have now enfranchised a few; sending them forth divided, according to their different subject, into several books. The first are grave and pious: the second, amorous and light. For he that in publishing any work hath a desire to content all palates, must cater for them accordingly.

Non omnibus unum est quod placet, hic spinas colligit, ille rosas. These airs were for the most part framed at first for one voice with the lute or viol: but upon occasion they have since been filled with more parts, which whoso please may use, who like not may leave. Yet do we daily observe that when any shall sing a treble to an instrument, the standers by will be offering at an inward part out of their own naure; and true or false, out it must, though to the perverting of the whole harmony. Also, if we consider well, the treble tunes (which are with us, commonly called Airs) are but tenors mounted eight notes higher; and therefore an inward part must needs well become them, such as may take up the whole distance of the diapason, and fill up the gaping between the two extreme parts: whereby though they are not three parts in perfection, yet they yield a sweetness and content both to the ear and mind; which is the aim and perfection of Music.

Short airs, if they be skillfully framed, and naturally expressed, are like quick and good epigrams in poesy: many of them showing as much artifice, and breeding as great difficulty as a larger poem. Non omnia possumus omnes, said the Roman epic poet. But some there are who admit only French or Italian airs; as if every country had not his proper air, which the people thereof naturally usurp in their music. Others taste nothing that comes forth in print; as if Catullus or Martial's  Epigrams were the worse for being published.

In these English airs, I have chiefly aimed to couple my words and notes lovingly together; which will be much for him to do that hath not power over both. The light of this, will best appear to him who hath paysed our monosyllables and syllables combined: both of which, are so loaded with consonants, as that they will hardly keep company with swift notes, or give the vowel convenient liberty.

To conclude; my own opinion of these songs I deliver thus: Omnia nec nostris bona sunt, sed nec mala libris; si placet hac cantes, hac quoque lege legas. Farewell.



Author of light, revive my dying sprite!
Redeem it from the snares of all-confounding night;
Lord, light me to Thy blessed way,
For blind with worldly vain desires, I wander as a stray.
Sun and moon, stars and under-lights I see;
But all their glorious beams are mists and darkness,
being compar'd to thee.

Fountain of health, my soul's deep wounds recure!
Sweet showers of pity rain, wash my uncleanness pure:
One drop of Thy desired grace
The faint and fading heart can raise, and in joy's
bosom place.
Sin and death, hell and tempting fiends may rage,
But God His own will guard, and their sharp pains
and grief in time assuage.


The man of life upright,
Whose cheerful mind is free
From weight of impious deeds,
And yoke of vanity;

The man whose silent dayes
In harmeless joys are spent,
Whom hopes cannot delude
Nor sorrows discontent;

That man needs neither towers,
Nor armour for defence,
Nor vaults his guilt to shroud
From thunder's violence;

He only can behold
With unaffrighted eyes
The horrors of the deep
And terrors of the skies;

Thus, scorning all the cares
That fate or fortune brings,
His booke the heavens he makes,
His wisedom heavenly things;

Good thoughts his surest friends,
His wealth a well-spent age,
The earth his sober inn
And quiet pilgrimage.


Where are all thy beauties now, all hearts enchaining?
Whither are thy flatterers gone with all their feigning?
All fled! and thou alone still here remaining!

Thy rich state of twisted gold to bays is turned!
Cold, as thou art, are thy loves, that so much burned!
Who die in flatterers' arms are seldom mourned.

Yet, in spite of envy, this be still proclaimed,
That none worthier than thyself thy worth hath blamed;
When their poor names are lost, thou shalt live famed.

When thy story, long time hence, shall be perused,
Let the blemish of thy rule be thus excused,
"None ever lived more just, none more abused".


Out of my soul's depth to Thee my cries have sounded:
Let Thine ears my plaints receive, on just fear grounded.
Lord, shouldst Thou weigh our faults, who's not confounded?

But with grace Thou censur'st Thine when they have erred,
Therefore shall Thy blessed Name be loved and feared.
Even to Thy throne my thoughts and eyes are reared.

Thee alone my hopes attend, on Thee relying;
In Thy sacred word I'll trust, to Thee fast flying,
Long ere the watch shall break, the morn descrying.

In the mercies of our God who live secured,
May of full redemption rest in Him assured;
Their sin-sick souls by Him shall be recured.


View me, Lord, a work of Thine:
Shall I then li drowne in night?
Might Ty grace in me but shine,
I should seem made all of light.

But my soul still surfeis so
On the poioned baits of sin,
That I strange and ugly grow,
All is dark and foul within.

Cleanse me, Lord, that I may kneel
At Thine altar, pure and white:
They that once Thy mercies feel,
Gaze no more on earth's delight.

Worldly joys, like shadows, fade
When the heavenly light appears;
But the covenants Thou hast made,
Endless, know nor days nor years.

In Thy Word, Lord, is my trust,
To Thy mercies fast I fly;
Though I am but clay and dust,
Yet Thy grace can lift me high.


Brauely decked, come forth, bright day!
Thine hours with roses strew thy way,
As they well remember.
Thou received shalt be with feasts:
Come, chiefest of the British guests,
Thou Fifth of November!
Thou with triumph shalt exceed
In the strictest Ember;
For by thy return the Lord records His blessed deed.
Britons, frolic at your board!
But first sing praises to the Lord
In your Congregations,
He preserved your State alone,
His loving grace hath made you one
Of His chosen nations.
But this light must hallowed be
With your best oblations;
Praise the Lord! for only great and merciful is He.

Death had entered in the gate,
And Ruin was crept near the State;
Fiery powder hell did make
Which, ready long the flame to take,
Lay in shade concealed.
God us helped, of His free grace:
None to Him appealed;
For none was so bad to fear the treason or the place.

God His peaceful monarch chose,
To him the mist He did disclose,
To him, and none other:
This He did, O King, for thee,
That thou thine own renown might'st see,
Which no time can smother.
May blest Charles, thy comfort be,
Firmer than his Brother:
May his heart the love of peace and wisedom learn
from thee!


To music bent, is my retired mind,
And fain would I some song of pleasure sing;
But in vain joys no comfort now I find,
From heavenly thoughts, all true delight doth spring:
Thy power, O God, Thy mercies, to record,
Will sweeten every note and every word.

All earthly pomp or beauty to express,
Is but to carve in snow, on waves to write;
Celestial things, though men conceive them less,
Yet fullest are they in themselves of light:
Such beams they yield as know no means to die,
Such heat they cast as lifts the spirit high.


Tune thy music to thy heart,
Sing thy joy with thanks and so thy sorrow:
Though Devotion needs not Art,
Sometimes of the poor the rich may borrow.

Strive not yet for curious ways:
Concord pleaseth more, the less 'tis strained;
Zeal affects not outward praise,
Only strives to show a love unfeigned.

Love can wondrous things effect,
Sweetest sacrifice all wrath appeasing;
Love the Highest doth respect;
Love alone to Him is ever pleasing.


Most sweet and pleasing are Thy ways, O God,
Like meadows decked with crystal streams and flowers:
Thy paths no foot profane hath ever trod,
     Nor hath the proud man rested in Thy bowers:
There lives no vulture, no devouring bear,
But only doves and lambs are harboured there.

The wolf his young ones to their prey doth guide;
The fox his cubs with false deceit endues;
The lion's whelp sucks from his dam his pride;
In hers the serpent malice doth infuse:
The darksome desert all such beasts contains,
Not one of them in Paradise remains.


Wise men patience never want;
Good men pity cannot hide;
Feeble spirits only vaunt
Of revenge, the poorest pride:
He alone, forgive that can,
Bears the true soul of a man.

Some there are, debate that seek,
Making trouble their content,
Happy if they wrong the meek,
Vex them that to peace are bent:
Such undo the common tie
Of mankind, Society.

Kindness grown is, lately, cold;
Conscience hath forgot her part;
Blessed times were known of old,
Long ere Law became an Art:
Shame deterred, not Statutes then,
Honest love was law to men.

Deeds from love, and words, that flow,
Foster like kind April showers;
In the warm sun all things grow,
Wholesome fruits and pleasant flowers:
All so thrives his gentle rays,
Whereon human love displays.


Never weather-beaten sail more willing bent to shore,
Never tired pilgrim's limbs affected slumber more,
Than my wearied sprite now longs to fly out of my troubled breast.
O come quickly, sweetest Lord, and take my soul to rest!

Ever blooming are the joys of heaven's high Paradise,
Cold age deafs not there our ears nor vapour dims our eyes:
Glory there the sun outshines ; whose beams the Blessed only see.
O come quickly, glorious Lord, and raise my sprite to Thee!


Lift up to heaven, sad wretch, thy heavy sprite!,
What though thy sins thy due destruction threat?
The Lord exceedes in mercy as in might;
His ruth is greater, though thy crimes be great.
Repentance needs not fear the heaven's just rod,
It stays even thunder in the hand of God.

With cheerful voice to Him then cry for grace:
Thy Faith and fainting Hope with Prayer revive;
Remorse for all that truly mourn hath place;
Not God, but men of Him themselves deprive:
Strive then, and He will help ;  call Him, He'll hear:
The son needs not the father's fury fear.


Lo, when back mine eye,
     Pilgrim-like, I cast,
What fearful ways I spy,
Which, blinded, I securely past!

But now heaven hath drawn
From my brows that night;
As when the day doth dawn,
So clears my long imprisoned sight.

Straight the caves of hell,
Dressed with flowers I see:
Wherein false pleasures dwell,
That, winning most, most deadly be.

Throngs of masked fiends,
Winged like angels, fly:
Even in the gates of friends
In fair disguise black dangers lie.

Straight to heaven I raised
My restored sight,
And with loud voice I praised
The Lord of ever-during light.

And since I had strayed
From His ways so wide,
His grace I humbly prayed
Henceforth to be my guard and guide.


As by the streams of Babylon
Far from our native soil we sat,
Sweet Sion, thee we thought upon,
And every thought a tear begat.

Aloft the trees, that spring up there,
Our silent harps we pensive hung:
Said they that captived us, "Let's hear
Some song, which you in Sion sung".

Is then the song of our God fit
To be profaned in foreign land?
O Salem, thee when I forget,
Forget his skill may my right hand!

Fast to the roof cleave may my tongue,
If mindless I of thee be found!
Or if, when all my joys are sung,
Jerusalem be not the ground!

Remember, Lord, how Edom's race
Cried in Jerusalem's sad day,
"Hurl down her walls, her towers deface,
And, stone by stone, all level lay".

Curst Babel's seed! for Salem's sake
Just ruin yet for thee remains!
Blest shall they be thy babes that take
And 'gainst the stones dash out their brains!


Sing a song of joy!
Praise our God with mirth!
His flock who can destroy?
Is He not Lord of heaven and earth?

Sing we then secure,
Tuning well our strings!
With voice, as echo pure,
Let us renown the King of Kings!

First who taught the day
From the East to rise?
Whom doth the sun obey
When in the seas his glory dies?

He the stars directs
That in order stand:
Who heaven and earth protects
But He that framed them with His hand?

Angels round attend,
Waiting on His will:
Armed millions He doth send
To aid the good or plague the ill.

All that dread His name,
And His hests observe,
His arm will shield from shame:
Their steps from truth shall never swerve.

Let us then rejoice,
Sounding loud His praise:
So will He hear our voice
And bless on earth our peaceful days.


Awake, awake, thou heavy sprite,
That sleepest the deadly sleep of sin!
Rise now and walk the ways of light!
Tis not too late yet to begin.
Seek heaven early, seek it late:
True Faith still finds an open gate.

Get up, get up, thou leaden man!
Thy track to endless joy or pain
Yields but the model of a span;
Yet burns out thy life's lamp in vain!
One minute bounds thy bane or bliss:
Then watch and labour, while time is!


Come, cheerful day, part of my life to me:
For while thou viewest me with thy fading light,
Part of my life doth still depart with thee,
And I still onward haste to my last night.
Time's fatal wings do ever forward fly:
So every day we live a day we die.

But, O ye nights, ordained for barren rest,
How are my days deprived of life in you,
When heavy sleep my soul hath dispossest,
By feigned death life sweetly to renew!
Part of my life in that, you life deny:
So every day we live a day we die.


Seek the Lord, and in His ways persever!
O faint not, but as eagles fly,
For His steep hill is high;
Then striving gain the top and triumph ever!

When with glory there thy brows are crowned,
New joys so shall abound in thee,
Such sights thy soul shall see,
That worldly thoughts shall by their beams be drowned.

Farewell, World, thou mass of mere confusion!
False light, with many shadows dimmed;
Old witch, with new foils trimmed;
Thou deadly sleep of soul, and charmed illusion!

I the King will seek, of Kings adored;
Spring of light; tree of grace and bliss,
Whose fruit so sovereign is
That all who taste it are from death restored.


Lighten, heavy heart, thy sprite,
The joys recall that thence are fled;
Yield thy breast some living light;
The man that nothing doth is dead.
Tune thy temper to these sounds,
And quicken so thy joyless mind;
Sloth the worst and best confounds:
It is the ruin of mankind.

From her cave rise all distastes,
Which unresolved Despair pursues;
Whom soon after Violence hastes,
Herself, ungrateful, to abuse.
Skies are cleared with stirring winds,
The unmoved water moorish grows;
Every eye much pleasure finds
To view a stream that brightly flows.


Jack and Joan they think no ill,
But loving live, and merry still ;
Do their week-days' work, and pray
Devoutly on the holy day:
Skip and trip it on the green,
And help to choose the Summer Queen;
Lash out, at a country feast,
Their silver penny with the best.

Well can they judge of nappy ale,
And tell at large a winter tale;
Climb up to the apple loft,
And turn the crabs till they be soft.
Tib is all the father's joy,
And little Tom the mothers boy.
All their pleasure is Content;
And care, to pay their yearly rent.

Joan can call by name her cows,
And deck her windows with green boughs;
She can wreaths and tuttyes make,
And trim with plums a bridal cake.
Jack knows what brings gain or loss;
And his long flail can stoutly toss:
Make the hedge, which others break;
And ever thinks what he doth speak.

Now, you courtly dames and knights,
That study only strange delights;
Though you scorn the homespun gray,
And revel in your rich array:
Though your tongues dissemble deep,
And can your heads from danger keep;
Yet, for all your pomp and train,
Securer lives the silly swain.


All looks be pale, hearts cold as stone,
For Hally now is dead and gone!
Hally, in whose sight,
Most sweet sight,
All the earth late took delight.
Every eye, weep with me!
Joys drowned in tears must be.

His ivory skin, his comely hair,
His rosy cheeks, so clear and fair,
Eyes that once did grace
His bright face,
Now in him all want their place.
Eyes and hearts weep with me!
For who so kind as he?

His youth was like an April flower,
Adorned with beauty, love, and power.
Glory strewed his way,
Whose wreaths gay
Now are all turned to decay.
Then againe weep with me!
None feel more cause than we.

No more may his wished sight return,
His golden lamp no more can burn.
Quenched is all his flame;
His hoped fame
Now hath left him nought but name.
For him all weep with me!
Since more him none shall see.



Vain men, whose follies make a dod of Love,
Whose blindness beauty doth immortal deem;
Praise not what you desire but what you prove,
Count those things good that are, not those that seem:
I cannot call her true that's false to me,
Nor make of women more than women be.

How fair an entrance breaks the way to love!
How rich of golden hope and gay delight!
What heart cannot a modest beauty move?
Who, seeing clear day once, will dream of night?
She seemed a saint, that brake her faith with me,
But proved a woman as all other be.

So bitter is their sweet that true content
Unhappy men in them may never find:
Ah! but without them none. Both must concent,
Else uncouth are the joys of either kind.
Let us then praise their good, forget their ill:
Men must be men, and women women still.


How easly wert thou chained,
Fond heart, by fauours feigned!
Why lived thy hopes in grace,
Straight to die disdained?
But since the art now beguiled
By love that falsely smiled,
In some less happy place
Mourn alone exiled!
My love still here increaseth,
And with my love my grief,
While her sweet bounty ceaseth,
That gave my woes relief.
Yet tis no woman leaves me,
For such may prove unjust;
A goddess thus deceives me,
Whose faith who could mistrust?

A goddess so much graced,
That Paradise is placed
In her most heav'nly breast,
Once by love embraced:
But love, that so kind proved,
Is now from her removed,
Nor will he longer rest
Where no faith is loved.
If powers celestial wound us
And will not yield relief,
Woe then must needs confound us
For none can cure our grief.
No wonder if I languish
Through burden of my smart:
It is no common anguish
From Paradise to part.


Harden now thy tired heart, with more than flinty rage!
Ne'er let her false tears henceforth thy constant grief assuage!
Once true happy days thou saw'st when she stood firm and kind,
Both as one then liv'd and held one ear, one tongue, one mind:
But now those bright hours be fled, and never may return;
What then remains but her untruths to mourn?

Silly trait'ress, who shall now thy careless tresses place?
Who thy pretty talk supply, whose ear thy music grace?
Who shall thy bright eyes admire? what lips triumph with thine?
Day by day who'll visit thee and say "The art is only mine?".
Such a time there was, God wot, but such shall never be:
Too oft, I fear, thou wilt remember me.


O what unhoped for sweet supply!
O what joys exceeding !
What an affecting charm feel I,
From delight proceeding!
That which I long despaired to be,
To her I am, and she to me.

She that alone in cloudy grief
Long to me appeared:
She now alone with bright relief
All those clouds hath cleared.
Both are immortal and divine:
Since I am hers, and she is mine.


Where she her sacred bower adorns,
The rivers clearly flow;
The groves and meadows swell with flowers,
The winds all gently blow.
Her sun-like beauty shines so fair,
Her spring can never fade:
Who then can blame the life that strives
To harbour in her shade?

Her grace I sought, her love I wooed,
No time, no toil, no vow, no faith,
Her wished grace can gain.
Yet truth can tell my heart is hers,
And her will I adore;
And from that love when I depart,
Let heaven view me no more!

Her roses with my prayers shall spring:
And when her trees I praise,
Their boughs shall blossom, mellow fruit
Shall straw her pleasant ways.
The words of hearty zeal have power
High wonders to effect;
O why should then her princely ear
My words or zeal neglect?

If she my faith misdeems, or worth,
      For though time can my truth reveal,
That time will come too late.
And who can glory in the worth,
That cannot yield him grace?
Content in everything is not,
Nor joy in every place.

But from her bower of joy since I
Must now excluded be,
And she will not relieve my cares,
Which none can help but she;
My comfort in her love shall dwell,
Her love lodge in my breast,
And though not in her bower, yet I
Shall in her temple rest.


Fain would I my love disclose,
Ask what honour might deny;
But both love and her I lose,
From my motion if she fly.
Worse than pain is feare to me:
Then hold in fancy though it burn !
If not happy, safe I'll be,
And to my cloistered cares return.

Yet, O yet, in vain I strive
To repress my school'd desire;
More and more the flames revive,
I consume in mine own fire.
She would pity, might she know
The harms that I for her endure:
Speak then, and get comfort so;
A wound long hid grows past recure.

Wise she is, and needs must know
All the attempts that beauty moves:
Fair she is, and honoured so
That she, sure, hath tried some loves.
If with love I tempt her then,
'Tis but her due to be desired:
What would women think of men
If their deserts were not admired?

Women, courted, have the hand
To discard what they distaste:
But those dames whom none demand
Want oft what their wills embraced.
Could their firmness iron excel,
As they are faire, they should be sought:
When true thieves use falsehood well,
As they are wise they will be caught.


Give beauty all her right,
She's not to one form tied;
Each shape yields fair delight,
Where her perfections abide.
Helen, I grant, might pleasing be;
And Ros'mond was as sweet as she.
Some the quick eye commends;
Some swelling lips and red;
Pale looks have many friends,
Through sacred sweetness bred.
Meadows have flowers that pleasure move,
Though roses are the flowers of love.

Free beauty is not bound
To one unmoved clime:
She visits every ground,
And favours every time.
Let the old loves with mine compare,
My Sovereign is as sweet and fair.


O dear! that I with thee might live,
From human trace removed!
Where jealous care might neither grieve,
Yet each dote on their loved.
While fond fear may colour find, love's seldom pleased:
But much like a sick man's rest, it's soon diseased.

Why should our minds not mingle so,
When love and faith is plighted,
That either might the other's know,
Alike in all delighted?
Why should frailty breed suspect, when hearts are fixed?
Must all human joys of force with grief be mixed?

How oft have we even smiled in tears,
Our fond mistrust repenting?
As snow when heavenly fire appears,
So melts love's hate relenting.
Vexed kindness soon falls off and soon returneth:
Such a flame the more you quench the more it burneth.


Good men, show, if you can tell,
Where doth Human Pity dwell?
Far and near her would I seek,
So vext with sorrow is my breast.
"She", they say, "to all is meek,
and only makes the unhappy blest".

Oh! if such a saint there be,
Some hope yet remaines for me:
Prayer or sacrifice may gain
From her implored grace relief;
To release me of my pain,
Or at the least to ease my grief.

Young am I, and far from guile,
The more is my woe the while:
Falsehood with a smooth disguise
My simple meaning hath abused:
Casting mists before mine eyes,
By which my senses are confused.

Fair he is, who vowed to me
That he only mine would be;
But, alas, his mind is caught
With every gaudy bait he sees:
And too late my flame is taught
That too much kindness makes men freeze.

From me all my friends are gone,
While I pine for him alone;
And not one will rue my case,
But rather my distresse deride:
That I think there is no place
Where Pity ever yet did abide.


What harvest half so sweet is,
As still to reap the kisses
Grown ripe in sowing?
And straight to be receiver
Of that which thou art giver,
Rich in bestowing?
Kiss then, my Harvest Queen,
Full garners heaping!
Kisses, ripest when th' are green,
Want only reaping.

The dove alone expresses
Her fervency in kisses,
Of all most loving:
A creature as offenceless
As those things that are senseless,
And void of moving.
Let us so love and kiss,
Though all envy us:
That which kind, and harmeless is,
None can deny us.


Sweet, exclude me not, nor be divided
From him that ere long must bed thee:
All thy maiden doubts law hath decided;
Sure we are, and I must wed thee.
Presume then yet a little more:
Here's the way, bar not the door.

Tenants, to fulfil their landlord's pleasure,
Pay their rent before the quarter:
Tis my case, if you it rightly measure;
Put me not then off with laughter.
Consider then a little more:
Here's the way to all my store.

Why were doors in love's despight devised?
Are not lawes enough restraining?
Women are most apt to be surprised
Sleeping, or sleep wisely feigning.
Then grace me yet a little more:
Here's the way, bar not the door.


The peacefull western wind
The winter storms hath tamed,
And Nature in each kind
The kind heat hath inflamed:
The forward buds so sweetly breathe
Out of their earthy bowers,
That heaven, which views their pomp beneath,
Would fain be decked with flowers.

See how the morning smiles
On her bright eastern hill,
And with soft steps beguiles
Them that lie slumbering still!
The music-loving birds are come
From cliffs and rocks unknown,
To see the trees and briars bloom
That late were overflown.

What Saturn did destroy,
And now her naked boy
Doth in the fields remain,
Where he such pleasing change doth view
In every living thing,
As if the world were born anew
To gratify the spring.

If all things life present,
Why die my comforts then?
Why suffers my content?
Am I the worst of men?
O, Beauty, be not thou accused
Too justly in this case!
Unkindly if true love be used,
Twill yield thee little grace.


There is none, O none but you,
That from me estrange your sight,
Whom mine eyes affect to view
Or chained ears hear with delight.

Other beauties others move,
In you I all graces find;
Such is the effect of love,
To make them happy that are kind.

Women in frail beauty trust,
Only seem you fair to me;
Yet prove truly kind and just,
For that may not dissembled be.

Sweet, afford me then your sight,
That, surveying all your looks,
Endless volumes I may write
And fill the world with envied books:

Which when after-ages view,
All shall wonder and despair,
Woman to find man so true,
Or man a woman half so fair.


Pined I am and like to die,
And all for lack of that which I
Do every day refuse.
If I musing sit or stand,
Some puts it daily in my hand,
To interrupt my muse:
The same thing I seek and fly,
And want that which none would deny.

In my bed, when I should rest,
It breeds such trouble in my breast
That scarce mine eyes will close;
If I sleep it seems to be
Oft playing in the bed with me,
But, waked, away it goes.
Tis some spirit sure, I ween,
And yet it may be felt and seen.

Would I had the heart and wit
To make it stand and conjure it,
That haunts me thus with fear.
Doubtless tis some harmless sprite,
For it by day as well as night
Is ready to appear.
Be it friend, or be it foe,
Ere long I'll try what it will do.


So many loves have I neglected
Whose good parts might move me,
That now I live of all rejected;
There is none will love me.
Why is maiden heat so coy?
It freezeth when it burneth,
Loseth what it might enjoy,
And, having lost it, mourneth.

Should I then woo, that have been wooed,
Seeking them that fly me?
When I my faith with tears have vowed,
And when all deny me,
Who will pity my disgrace,
Which love might have prevented?
There is no submission base
Where error is repented.

O happy men, whose hopes are licensed
To discourse their passion,
While women are confined to silence,
     Yet our tongues than theirs, men say,
Are apter to be moving:
Women are more dumb then they,
But in their thoughts more roving.

When I compare my former strangeness
With my present doting,
I pity men that speak in plainness
Their true heart's devoting;
While we (with repentance) jest
At their submissive passion.
Maids, I see, are never blest
That strange be but for fashion.


Though your strangeness frets my heart,
Yet may not I complain:
You persuade me, tis but art,
That secret love must feign.
If another you affect,
Tis but a show, t'avoid suspect.
Is this fair excusing? O, no! all is abusing!

Your wished sight if I desire,
Suspicions you pretend:
Causeless you yourself retire,
While I in vain attend.
This a lover whets, you say,
Still made more eager by delay.
Is this fair excusing? O, no! all is abusing!

When another holds your hand,
You swear I hold your heart:
When my rivals close do stand,
And I sit far apart,
I am nearer yet than they,
Hid in your bosom, as you say.
Is this fair excusing? O, no! all is abusing!

Would my rival then I were,
Or else your secret friend:
So much lesser should I fear,
And not so much attend.
Then enjoy you, every one,
Yet I must seem your friend alone.
Is this fair excusing? O, no! all is abusing!


Come away, armed with love's delights!
Thy spriteful graces bring with thee!
When love and longing fights,
They must the sticklers be.
Come quickly, come! the promised hour is well-nigh spent,
And pleasure being too much deferred, loseth her best content.

Is she come? O, how near is she!
How far yet from this friendly place!
How many steps from me!
When shall I her embrace?
These arms I'll spread, which only at her sight shall close,
Attending as the starry flower that the sun's noon-tide knows.


Come, you pretty false-eyed wanton,
Leave your crafty smiling!
Think you to escape me now
With slipp'ry words beguiling!
No; you mocked me th'other day;
When you got loose, you fled away;
But, since I have caught you now,
I'll clip your wings for flying:
Smoth'ring kisses fast I'll heap,
And keep you so from crying.

Sooner may you count the stars,
And number hail down pouring,
Tell the osiers of the Thames,
Or Goodwin sands devouring,
Than the thick-showred kisses here
Which now thy tired lips must bear.
Such a harvest never was,
So rich and full of pleasure,
But 'tis spent as soon as reaped,
So trustless is love's treasure.

Would it were dumb midnight now,
When all the world lies sleeping!
Would this place some desert were,
Which no man hath in keeping!
My desires should then be safe,
And when you cried then would I laugh:
But if aught might breed offence,
Love only should be blamed:
I would live your servant still,
     And you my saint unnamed.


A secret love or two I must confess
I kindly welcome for change in close playing,
Yet my dear husband I love ne'ertheless,
His desires, whole or half, quickly allaying,
At all times ready to offer redress:
His own he never wants but hath it duly,
Yet twits me I keep not touch with him truly.

The more a spring is drawn the more it flows,
No lamp less light retains by lightning others:
Is he a loser his loss that ne'er knows?
Or is he wealthy that waste treasure smothers?
My churl vows no man shall scent his sweet rose:
His own enough and more I give him duly,
Yet still he twits me I keep not touch truly.

Wise archers bear more than one shaft to field,
The venturer loads not with one ware his shipping;
Should warriors learn but one weapon to wield,
Or thrive fair plants ever the worse for the slipping?
One dish cloys, many fresh appetite yield.
Mine own I'll use, and his he shall have duly:
Judge then what debtor can keep touch more truly.


Her rosy cheeks, her ever-smiling eyes,
Are spheres and beds where Love in triumph lies:
Her rubine lips, when they their pearl unlock,
Make them seem as they did rise
All out of one smooth coral rock.
O that of other creatures' store I knew
More worthy and more rare!
For these are old, and she so new,
That her to them none should compare.

O could she love! would she but hear a friend!
Or that she only knew what sighs pretend!
Her looks inflame, yet cold as ice is she.
Do or speak, all's to one end,
For what she is that will she be.
Yet will I never cease her praise to sing,
Though she gives no regard:
For they that grace a worthless thing
Are only greedy of reward.


Where shall I refuge seek, if you refuse me?
In you my hope, in you my fortune lies,
In you my life! though you unjust accuse me,
My service scorn, and merit underprize:
O bitter grief! that exile is become
Reward for faith, and pity deaf and dumb!

Why should my firmness find a seat so wav'ring?
My simple vows, my love you entertained;
Without desert the same again disfav'ring;
Yet I my word and passion hold unstained.
O wretched me! that my chief joy should breed
My only grief and kindness pity need!