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The Father's wisdom willed it so,
The Son's obedience knew no No,

Both wills were in one stature;

And as that wisdom had decreed,
The Word was now made Flesh indeed,
And took on him our nature.

What comfort by him do we win,
Who made himself the price of sin,
To make us heirs of glory!

To see this Babe, all innocence,

A martyr born in our defence;

Can man forget this story?





LET it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.

It would appear from the opening verses that these graceful lyrics, which will not suffer in comparison with the most perfect love poems of antiquity, were composed when Jonson had attained the age of fifty, about 1623; but as the concluding stanzas of Her Triumph (see post, p. 141) are to be found in the Devil's an Ass, produced about seven years before, the date of these pieces must not be inferred from the introduction, which seems to have been written last. They were, probably, produced at different periods, and finally arranged in their present order with a view to publication.-B.

Though I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have my peers;
Poets, though divine, are men :
Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune gives the grace,
Or the feature, or the youth;
But the language, and the truth,
With the ardor and the passion,
Gives the lover weight and fashion.
If then will read the story,
First, prepare you to be sorry,
That you never knew till now,
Either whom to love, or how:
But be glad, as soon with me,
When you know that this is she,
Of whose beauty it was sung,
She shall make the old man young.
Keep the middle age at stay,
And let nothing high decay,
Till she be the reason, why,


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I beheld her, on a day,

When her look out-flourished May;

And her dressing did outbrave
All the pride the fields then have;
Far I was from being stupid,
For I ran and called on Cupid:

"Love, if thou wilt ever see

Mark of glory, come with me;

Where's thy quiver? bend thy bow: Here's a shaft, — thou art too slow!"

And withal, I did untie

Every cloud about his eye.

But he had not gained his sight
Sooner than he lost his might,
Or his courage; for away

Straight he ran, and durst not stay,
Letting bow and arrow fall,

Nor for any threat, or call,

Could be brought once back to look.
I, foolhardy, there up took
Both the arrow he had quit,
And the bow, which thought to hit
This my object; but she threw
Such a lightning, as I drew,
At my face, that took my sight,
And my motion from me quite;
So that there I stood a stone,
Mocked of all, and called of one,
(Which with grief and wrath I heard,)
Cupid's statue with a beard;

Or else one that played his ape,

In a Hercules his shape.


After many scorns like these,
Which the prouder beauties please,

She content was to restore
Eyes and limbs; to hurt me more,
And would, on conditions, be
Reconciled to Love and me:
First, that I must kneeling yield
Both the bow and shaft I held
Unto her; which Love might take
At her hand, with oaths, to make
Me the scope of his next draft,
Aimèd with that selfsame shaft.
He no sooner heard the law,
But the arrow home did draw,
And, to gain her by his art,
Left it sticking in my heart:
Which when she beheld to bleed,
She repented of the deed,

And would fain have changed the fate,
But the pity comes too late.
Loser-like, now, all my wreak
Is, that I have leave to speak,
And in either prose or song,
To revenge me with my tongue;
Which how dexterously I do,
Hear, and make example too.


See the chariot at hand here of Love,
Wherein my lady rideth!

Each that draws is a swan or a dove,

And well the car Love guideth.

As she goes, all hearts do duty
Unto her beauty;

And, enamored, do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,

That they still were to run by her side, Through swords, through seas, whither she would ride.

Do but look on her eyes, they do light
All that Love's world compriseth!
Do but look on her hair, it is bright

As Love's star when it riseth!

Do but mark, her forehead's smoother

Than words that soothe her! And from her arched brows such a grace Sheds itself through the face,

As alone there triumphs to the life

All the gain, all the good, of the elements' strife.

Have you seen but a bright lily grow,
Before rude hands have touched it?
Have you marked but the fall o' the snow
Before the soil hath smutched it?
Have you felt the wool of beaver?

Or swan's down ever?

Or have smelt o' the bud o' the brier?
Or the nard in the fire?

Or have tasted the bag of the bee?

O so white! O so soft! O so sweet is she!

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