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Doe still preserve your first informed grace,
Whose shadow yet shynes in your beauteous face.
Loath that foule blot, that hellish fierbrand,
Disloiall lust, faire beauties foulest blame,
That base affections, which your eares would bland,
Commend to you by loves abused name ;
But is indeede the bondslave of defame,
Which will the garland of your glorie marre,
And quench the light of your bright shyning starre.
But gentle Love, that loiall is and trew,
Will more illumine your resplendent ray,
And adde more brightnesse to your goodly hew,
From light of his pure fire, which by like way
Kindled of yours, your likenesse doth display,
Like as two mirrours by opposd reflexion,
Doe both expresse the faces first impression.
Therefore to make your beautie more appeare,
It you behoves to love, and forth to lay
That heavenly riches, which in you ye beare,
That men the more admyre their fountaine may,
For else what booteth that celestiall ray,
If it in darknesse be enshrined ever,
That it of loving eyes be vewed never ?
But in your choice of Loves, this well advize,
190 That likest to your selves ye them select, The which your forms first sourse may sympathize, And with like beauties parts be inly deckt : For if you loosely love without respect, It is no love, but a discordant warre, Whose unlike parts amongst themselves do jarre.
For Love is a celestiall harmonie,
Of likely harts composd of starres concent,
Which joyne together in sweete sympathie,
To worke ech others joy and true content,
Which they have harbourd since their first descent
Out of their heavenly bowres, where they did see
And know ech other here belov'd to bee."
Then wrong it were that any other twaine
Should in loves gentle band combyned bee,
But those whom heaven did at first ordaine,
And made out of one mould the more t'agree :
For all that like the beautie which they see,
Streight do not love : for love is not so light,
As streight to burne at first beholders sight.
But they which love indeede, looke otherwise,
With pure regard and spotlesse true intent,
Drawing out of the object of their eyes,
A more refyned forme, which they present
Unto their mind, voide of all blemishment :
Which it reducing to her first perfection,
Beholdeth free from fleshes frayle infection.
And then conforming it unto the light,
Which in it selfe it hath remaining still
Of that first Sunne, yet sparckling in his sight.
Thereof he fashions in his higher skill,
An heavenly beautie to his fancies will,
And it embracing in his mind entyre,
The mirrour of his owne thought doth admyre.
Which seeing now so inly faire to be,
As outward it appeareth to the eye,
And with his spirits proportion to agree,
He thereon fixeth all his fantasie,
And fully setteth his felicitie,
Counting it fairer, then it is indeede,
And yet indeede her fairenesse doth exceede.
For lovers eyes more sharply sighted bee
Then other mens, and in deare loves delight
See more then any other eyes can see,
Through mutuall receipt of beames bright,
Which carrie privie message to the spright,
And to their eyes that in most faire display,
As plaine as light discovers dawning day.
Therein they see through amorous eye-glaunces,
Armies of loves still flying too and fro,
Which dart at them their litle fierie launces,
Whom having wounded, backe againe they go,
Carrying compassion to their lovely foe;
Who seeing her faire eyes so sharpe effect,
Cures all their sorrowes with one sweete aspect.
In which how many wonders doe they reede
To their conceipt, that others never see,
Now of her smiles, with which their soules they feede,
Like Gods with Nectar in their bankets free,
Now of her lookes, which like to Cordials bee; 250
But when her words embassade forth she sends,
Lord how sweete musicke that unto them lends.
Sometimes upon her forhead they behold
A thousand Graces masking in delight,
Sometimes within her eye-lids they unfold
Ten thousand sweet belgards, which to their sight
Doe seeme like twinckling starres in frostie night :
But on her lips, like rosy buds in May,
So many millions of chaste pleasures play.
All those, O Cytherea, and thousands more
Thy handmaides be, which do on thee attend
To decke thy beautie with their dainties store,
94 AN HYMNE IN HONOUR OF BEAUTIE
That may it more to mortall eyes commend,
And make it more admyr'd of foe and frend;
That in mens harts thou mayst thy throne enstall
And spred thy lovely kingdome over all.
Then Tö tryumph, O great beauties Queene,
Advance the banner of thy conquest hie,
That all this world, the which thy vassals beene,
May draw to thee, and with dew fealtie,
Adore the powre of thy great Majestie,
Singing this Hymne in honour of thy name,
Compyld by me, which thy poore liegeman am.
In lieu whereof graunt, O great Soveraine,
That she whose conquering beautie doth captive
My trembling hart in her eternall chaine,
One drop of grace at length will to me give,
That I her bounden thrall by her may live,
And this same life, which first fro me she reaved,
May owe to her, of whom I it receaved.
And you faire Venus dearling, my deare dread,
Fresh flowre of grace, great Goddesse of my life,
When your faire eyes these fearefull lines shal read,
Deigne to let fall one drop of dew reliefe,
That may recure my harts long pyning griefe,
And shew what wondrous powre your beauty hath,
That can restore a damned wight from death.