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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 2/175 -


Heigh ho!

Love is a torment of the mind, A tempest everlasting; And Jove hath made it of a kind Not well, nor full nor fasting. Why so? More we enjoy it, more it dies; If not enjoyed, it sighing cries - Heigh ho!

Samuel Daniel [1562-1619]

LOVE'S PERJURIES From "Love's Labor's Lost"

On a day, alack the day! Love, whose month is ever May, Spied 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, Wished himself the heaven's breath. Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow; Air, would I might triumph so! But, alack, my hand is 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 e'en Jove would swear Juno but an Ethiope were, And deny himself for Jove, Turning mortal for thy love.

William Shakespeare [1564-1616]

VENUS' RUNAWAY From "The Hue and Cry After Cupid"

Beauties, have ye seen this toy, Called Love, a little boy, Almost naked, wanton, blind; Cruel now, and then as kind? If he be amongst ye, say? He is Venus' runaway.

She that will but now discover Where the winged wag doth hover, Shall to-night receive a kiss, How or where herself would wish: But who brings him to his mother, Shall have that kiss, and another.

He hath marks about him plenty: You shall know him among twenty. All his body is a fire, And his breath a flame entire, That, being shot like lightning in, Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

At his sight, the sun hath turned, Neptune in the waters burned; Hell hath felt a greater heat; Jove himself forsook his seat: From the centre to the sky, Are his trophies reared high.

Wings he hath, which though ye clip, He will leap from lip to lip, Over liver, lights, and heart, But not stay in any part; But if chance his arrow misses, He will shoot himself in kisses.

He doth bear a golden bow, And a quiver, hanging low, Full of arrows, that outbrave Dian's shafts; where, if he have Any head more sharp than other, With that first he strikes his mother.

Still the fairest are his fuel. When his days are to be cruel, Lovers' hearts are all his food, And his baths their warmest blood: Naught but wounds his hands doth season, And he hates none like to Reason.

Trust him not; his words, though sweet, Seldom with his heart do meet. All his practice is deceit; Every gift it is a bait;

Not a kiss but poison bears; And most treason in his tears.

Idle minutes are his reign; Then, the straggler makes his gain By presenting maids with toys, And would have ye think them joys: 'Tis the ambition of the elf To have all childish as himself.

If by these ye please to know him, Beauties, be not nice, but show him. Though ye had a will to hide him, Now, we hope, ye'll not abide him; Since you hear his falser play, And that he's Venus' runaway.

Ben Jonson [1573?-1637]

WHAT IS LOVE? From "The Captain"

Tell me, dearest, what is love? 'Tis a lightning from above; 'Tis an arrow, 'tis a fire, 'Tis a boy they call Desire. 'Tis a grave, Gapes to have Those poor fools that long to prove.

Tell me more, are women true? Yes, some are, and some as you. Some are willing, some are strange, Since you men first taught to change. And till troth Be in both, All shall love, to love anew.

Tell me more yet, can they grieve? Yes, and sicken sore, but live, And be wise, and delay, When you men are wise as they. Then I see, Faith will be Never till they both believe.

John Fletcher [1579-1625]

LOVE'S EMBLEMS From "Valentinian"

Now the lusty spring is seen; Golden yellow, gaudy blue, Daintily invite the view: Everywhere on every green Roses blushing as they blow, And enticing men to pull, Lilies whiter than the snow, Woodbines of sweet honey full: All love's emblems, and all cry, "Ladies, if not plucked, we die."

Yet the lusty spring hath stayed; Blushing red and purest white Daintily to love invite Every woman, every maid: Cherries kissing as they grow, And inviting men to taste, Apples even ripe below, Winding gently to the waist: All love's emblems, and all cry, "Ladies, if not plucked, we die."

John Fletcher [1579-1625]

THE POWER OF LOVE From "Valentinian"

Hear, ye ladies that despise What the mighty Love has done; Fear examples and be wise: Fair Callisto was a nun; Leda, sailing on the stream To deceive the hopes of man, Love accounting but a dream, Doted on a silver swan; Danae, in a brazen tower, Where no love was, loved a shower.

Hear, ye ladies that are coy, What the mighty Love can do; Fear the fierceness of the boy: The chaste Moon he makes to woo; Vesta, kindling holy fires, Circled round about with spies, Never dreaming loose desires, Doting at the altar dies; Ilion, in a short hour, higher He can build, and once more fire.


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 2 - 2/175

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