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THOMAS CAREW

1595?-1639?

297                                                    Song

ASK me no more where Jove bestows,
When June is past, the fading rose;
For in your beauty’s orient deep
These flowers, as in their causes, sleep.
Ask me no more whither do stray
The golden atoms of the day;
For in pure love heaven did prepare
Those powders to enrich your hair.
Ask me no more whither doth haste
The nightingale when May is past;
For in your sweet dividing throat
She winters and keeps warm her note.
Ask me no more where those stars ’light
That downwards fall in dead of night;
For in your eyes they sit, and there
Fixàed become as in their sphere.
Ask me no more if east or west
The Phnix builds her spicy nest;
For unto you at last she flies,
And in your fragrant bosom dies.

298                                     Persuasions to Joy: a Song

IF the quick spirits in your eye
Now languish and anon must die;
If every sweet and every grace
Must fly from that forsaken face;
     Then, Celia, let us reap our joys
     Ere Time such goodly fruit destroys.
Or if that golden fleece must grow
For ever free from agàed snow;
If those bright suns must know no shade,
Nor your fresh beauties ever fade;
     Then fear not, Celia, to bestow
     What, still being gather’d, still must grow.
Thus either Time his sickle brings
In vain, or else in vain his wings.

299                                    To His Inconstant Mistress

WHEN thou, poor Excommunicate
   From all the joys of Love, shalt see
The full reward and glorious fate
   Which my strong faith shall purchase me,
   Then curse thine own inconstancy!
A fairer hand than thine shall cure
   That heart which thy false oaths did wound;
And to my soul a soul more pure
   Than thine shall by Love’s hand be bound,
   And both with equal glory crown’d.
Then shalt thou weep, entreat, complain
   To Love, as I did once to thee;
When all thy tears shall be as vain
   As mine were then: for thou shalt be
   Damn’d for thy false apostasy.

300                                       The Unfading Beauty

HE that loves a rosy cheek,
   Or a coral lip admires,
Or from star-like eyes doth seek
   Fuel to maintain his fires:
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.
But a smooth and steadfast mind,
   Gentle thoughts and calm desires,
Hearts with equal love combined,
   Kindle never-dying fires.
Where these are not, I despise
Lovely cheeks or lips or eyes.

301                                   Ingrateful Beauty threatened

KNOW, Celia, since thou art so proud,
   ’Twas I that gave thee thy renown.
Thou hadst in the forgotten crowd
   Of common beauties lived unknown,
Had not my verse extoll’d thy name,
And with it imp’d1 the wings of Fame.
That killing power is none of thine;
   I gave it to thy voice and eyes;
Thy sweets, thy graces, all are mine;
   Thou art my star, shin’st in my skies;
Then dart not from thy borrow’d sphere
Lightning on him that fix’d thee there.
Tempt me with such affrights no more,
   Lest what I made I uncreate;
Let fools thy mystic form adore,
   I know thee in thy mortal state.
Wise poets, that wrapt Truth in tales,
Knew her themselves through all her veils.

1 imp’d: grafted with new feathers.

302                                                  Epitaph

On the Lady Mary Villiers

THE Lady Mary Villiers lies
Under this stone; with weeping eyes
The parents that first gave her birth,
And their sad friends, laid her in earth.
If any of them, Reader, were
Known unto thee, shed a tear;
Or if thyself possess a gem
As dear to thee, as this to them,
Though a stranger to this place,
Bewail in theirs thine own hard case:
   For thou perhaps at thy return
   May’st find thy Darling in an urn.

303                                                   Another

THIS little vault, this narrow room,
Of Love and Beauty is the tomb;
The dawning beam, that ’gan to clear
Our clouded sky, lies darken’d here,
For ever set to us: by Death
Sent to enflame the World Beneath.
   ’Twas but a bud, yet did contain
More sweetness than shall spring again;
A budding Star, that might have grown
Into a Sun when it had blown.
This hopeful Beauty did create
New life in Love’s declining state;
But now his empire ends, and we
From fire and wounding darts are free;
   His brand, his bow, let no man fear:
   The flames, the arrows, all lie here.

 

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