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And never be by time or folly brought,
Weakness of brain, or any charm of wine,
The sin of boast, or other countermine
Made to blow up love's secrets, to discover
That article may not become our lover:
Which in assurance to your breast I tell,
If I had writ no word but, dear, farewell!


Since you must go,
and I must bid farewell,
Hear, mistress, your departing servant tell
What it is like: and do not think they can
Be idle words, though of a parting man.
It is as if a night should shade noonday,
Or that the sun was here, but forced away,
And we were left under that hemisphere,
Where we must feel it dark for half a year.
What fate is this, to change men's days and

To shift their seasons, and destroy their powers!
Alas! I have lost my heat, my blood, my prime,
Winter is come a quarter ere his time!
My health will leave me; and when you depart,
How shall I do, sweet mistress, for my heart?
You would restore it? No, that's worth a fear,
As if it were not worthy to be there:

O, keep it still; for it had rather be

Your sacrifice, than here remain with me;

And so

I spare it; come what can become Of me, I'll softly tread unto my tomb;

Or, like a ghost, walk silent amongst men,
Till I may see both it and you again.


Let me be what I am; as Virgil cold,
As Horace fat, or as Anacreon old;
No poet's verses yet did ever move,
Whose readers did not think he was in love.
Who shall forbid me then in rhyme to be
As light and active as the youngest he
That from the Muses' fountains doth endorse
His lines, and hourly sits the poet's horse?
Put on my ivy garland; let me see
Who frowns, who jealous is, who taxeth me.
Fathers and husbands, I do claim a right
In all that is called lovely: take my sight,
Sooner than my
affection from the fair;
No face, no hand, proportion, line or air

Of beauty, but the Muse hath interest in:
There is not worn that lace, purl, knot, or pin,
But is the poet's matter; and he must,

When he is furious, love, although not lust.
But then content, your daughters and your


If they be fair and worth it, have their lives
Made longer by our praises; or, if not,

Wish you had foul ones, and deformèd got,
Cursed in their cradles, or there changed by elves,
So to be sure you do enjoy yourselves.

Yet keep those up in sackcloth too, or leather,

For silk will draw some sneaking songster


It is a rhyming age, and verses swarm
At every stall; the city cap's a charm.

But I who live, and have lived twenty year,
Where I may handle silk as free, and near,
As any mercer, or the whalebone man
That quilts those bodies I have leave to span;
Have eaten with the beauties, and the wits,
And braveries of court, and felt their fits
Of love and hate; and came so nigh to know
Whether their faces were their own or no :
It is not likely I should now look down
Upon a velvet petticoat, or a gown,

Whose like I have known the tailor's wife put on,
To do her husband's rites in, ère 'twere gone
Home to the customer; his lechery
Being the best clothes still to preoccupy.
Put a coach-mare in tissue, must I horse
Her presently? or leap thy wife of force,
When by thy sordid bounty she hath on
A gown of that was the caparison?
So I might dote upon thy chairs and stools,
That are like clothed; must I be of those fools
Of race accounted, that no passion have,

But when thy wife, as thou conceiv'st, is brave?
Then ope thy wardrobe, think me that poor


That, from the footman, when he was become

An officer there, did make most solemn love

To every petticoat he brushed, and glove
He did lay up; and would adore the shoe
Or slipper was left off, and kiss it too;
Court every hanging gown, and, after that,
Lift up some one, and do I tell not what..
Thou didst tell me, and wert o'erjoyed to peep
In at a hole, and see these actions creep
From the poor wretch, which though he plaied
in prose,

He would have done in verse, with any of those
Wrung on the withers by Lord Love's despite,
Had he had the faculty to read and write!

Such songsters there are store of; witness he That chanced the lace, laid on a smock, to see, And straightway spent a sonnet; with that other That, in pure madrigal, unto his mother

Commended the French hood and scarlet gown The lady-mayoress passed in through the town, Unto the Spittle sermon.50 "O, what strange

50❝Time out of mind, it hath been a laudable custom that on Good Friday, in the afternoon, some especial learned man, by appointment of the prelates, hath preached a sermon at Paul's-cross, treating of Christ's Passion; and upon the three next Easter holidays, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the like learned men, by the like appointment, have used to preach on the forenoons at the said Spittle" [a priory and hospital called St. Mary Spittle, on the site now occupied by Spital-square, Spitalfields, where there was another pulpit cross, somewhat resembling that in St. Paul's churchyard] "to persuade the article of Christ's Resurrection; and then on Low Sunday, one other learned man at Paul's-cross, to make rehearsal of those four former sermons, either com

Variety of silks were on th' Exchange!

Or in Moor-fields! this other night," sings one;
Another answers, "'las! those silks are none,"
In smiling l'envoy,51 as he would deride
Any comparison had with his Cheapside;
And vouches both the pageant and the day,
When not the shops, but windows do display
The stuffs, the velvets, plushes, fringes, lace,
And all the original riots of the place.
Let the poor fools enjoy their follies, love
A goat in velvet; or some block could move
Under that cover, an old midwife's hat,
Or a close-stool so cased; or any fat
Bawd, in a velvet scabbard! I envy

None of their pleasures; nor will ask thee why
Thou art jealous of thy wife's, or daughter's case,
More than of either's manners, wit, or face!


And why to me this, thou lame lord of fire? What had I done that might call on thine ire?

mending or reproving them, as to him by judgment of the learned divines was thought convenient. And that done, he was to make a sermon of his own study, which in all were five sermons in one. At these sermons, so severally preached, the mayor, with his brethren the aldermen, were accustomed to be present in their violets at Paul's on Good Friday, and in their scarlets at the Spittle in the holidays, except Wednesday in violet, and the mayor with his brethren on Low Sunday in scarlet, at Paul's-cross, continued until this day."

51 That is, in a kind of supercilious close. - G.

52 By the fire, to which this poem alludes, Jonson's library

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