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Noblest Charis, you that are
Both my fortune and my star!
And do govern more my blood,
Than the various moon the flood!
Hear, what late discourse of you,
Love and I have had; and true.
'Mongst my muses finding me,
Where he chanced your name to see
Set, and to this softer strain;
"Sure," said he, "if I have brain,
This, here sung, can be no other
By description, but my mother!
So hath Homer praised her hair;
So Anacreon drawn the air
Of her face, and made to rise
Just about her sparkling eyes,
Both her brows, bent like my bow;
By her looks I do her know,
Which you call my shafts. And see!
Such my mother's blushes be,

As the bath your verse discloses
In her cheeks, of milk and roses;
Such as oft I wanton in:
And, above her even chin,

Have you placed the bank of kisses,
Where, you say, men gather blisses,
Ripened with a breath more sweet
Than when flowers and west-winds meet.
Nay, her white and polished neck,

With the lace that doth it deck,
Is my mother's! Hearts of slain
Lovers made into a chain!


And between each rising breast,
Lies the valley, called my nest,
Where I sit and proyne my wings
After flight; and put new stings
To my shafts! Her very name,
With my mother's is the same."
I confess all, I replied,

And the glass hangs by her side,
And the girdle 'bout her waist,
All is Venus, save unchaste.
But, alas, thou seest the least
Of her good, who is the best

Of her sex; but couldst thou, Love,
Call to mind the forms that strove
For the apple, and those three
Make in one, the same were she.
For this beauty yet doth hide
Something more than thou hast spied.
Outward grace weak love beguiles:
She is Venus when she smiles,

But she's Juno when she walks,

And Minerva when she talks.

Usually spelt "proigne," or "proine"-to prune. A hawk was said to proine, "when she fetched oil with her beak over her tail." Mr. Halliwell gives the following illustration:

"For joye they proigne hem evyry mornynge."

MS. Ashmole, 59, f. 20. B.



Charis, guess, and do not miss,

Since I drew a morning kiss

From your lips, and sucked an air
Thence, as sweet as you are fair,
What my Muse and I have done :
Whether we have lost or won,
If by us the odds were laid,
That the bride, allowed a maid,
Looked not half so fresh and fair,
With th' advantage of her hair,"
And her jewels, to the view
Of th' assembly, as did you.
Or, that did you sit or walk,
You were more the eye and talk
Of the court, to-day, than all
Else that glistered in Whitehall;
So, as those that had your sight,
Wished the bride were changed to night,
And did think such rites were due,

To no other grace but you!

Or, if you did move to-night

In the dances, with what spite

5 Brides, in Jonson's days, were always led to the altar with their hair hanging down.-G. The custom was of a still earlier date. It was the usage for brides to walk to the church with their hair flowing loose over the shoulders. Anne Bullen was thus dishevelled on her marriage. The usage is frequently alluded to in the old plays:

"Untie your folded thoughts,

And let them dangle loose, as a bride's hair. "

Vittoria Corombona, VI.—B.


Of your peers you were beheld,
That at every motion swelled
So to see a lady tread,

As might all the Graces lead,
And was worthy, being so seen,
To be envied of the queen.

Or if you would yet have stayed,
Whether any would upbraid
To himself his loss of time;

Or have charged his sight of crime,
To have left all sight for you:
Guess of these which is the true;
And if such a verse as this,
May not claim another kiss.


For Love's sake, kiss me once again,
I long, and should not beg in vain.

Here's none to spy, or see;

Why do you doubt, or stay?
I'll taste as lightly as the bee,

That doth but touch his flower, and flies away.

Once more, and, faith, I will be gone;

Can he that loves ask less than one?

Nay, you may err in this,

And all your bounty wrong:

This could be called but half a kiss;

What we're but once to do, we should do long!

I will but mend the last, and tell

Where, how, it would have relished well;
Join lip to lip and try:

Each suck the other's breath,

And whilst our tongues perplexèd lie,

Let who will think us dead, or wish our death.



Charis one day in discourse
Had of Love and of his force,
Lightly promised she would tell
What a man she could love well;
And that promise set on fire
All that heard her with desire.
With the rest, I long expected,
When the work would be effected;
But we find that cold delay,
And excuse spun every day,

As, until she tell her one,
We all fear she loveth none.
Therefore, Charis, you must do't,
For I will so urge you to't
You shall neither eat nor sleep,
No, nor forth your window peep,
With your emissary eye,

To fetch in the forms go by,
And pronounce which band or lace
Better fits him than his face;

Nay, I will not let you sit

'Fore your idol glass a whit,

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