A Sonnet.

Like a ring without a finger,
Or a bell without a ringer;
Like a horse was never ridden,
Or a feast and no guest bidden;
Like a well without a bucket,
Like a rose if no man pluck it
  Just such as these may she be said
  That lives, ne'er loves, but dies a maid.

The ring, if worn, the finger decks,
The bell pulled by the ringer speaks;
The horse doth ease if he be ridden,
The feast doth please if guest be bidden;
The bucket draws the water forth,
The rose when pluck'd is still most worth:
  Such is the virgin, in my eyes,
  That lives, loves, marries, ere she dies.

Like to a stock not grafted on,
Or like a lute not play'd upon;
Like a jack without a weight,
Or a bark without a freight
Like a lock without a key,
Or a candle in the day:
  Just such as these may she be said
  That lives, ne'er loves, but dies a maid.

The grafted stock doth bear best fruit,
There's music in the finger'd lute;
The weight doth make the jack go ready,
The freight doth make the bark go steady;
The key the lock doth open right,
The candle's useful in the night:
  Such is the virgin, in my eyes,
  That lives, loves, marries, ere she dies.

Like a call without, "Anon, sir!"
Or a question and no answer;
Like a ship was never rigg'd,
Or a mine was never digg'd;
Like a wound without a tent,
Or civet-box without a scent:
  Just such as these may she be said
  That lives, ne'er loves, but dies a maid.

Th' Anon, sir! doth obey the call,
The question answered pleaseth all;
Who rigs a ship sails with the wind,
Who digs a mine doth treasure find;
The wound by wholesome tent hath ease,
The box perfumed the senses please:
  Such is the virgin, in my eyes,
  That lives, loves, marries, ere she dies.

Like marrow-bone was never broken,
Or commendations and no token;
Like a fort and none to win it,
Or like the moon and no man in it;
Like a school without a teacher,
Or like a pulpit and no preacher:
  Just such as these may she be said
  That lives, ne'er loves, but dies a maid.

The broken marrow-bone is sweet,
The token doth adorn the greet;
There's triumph in the fort being won,
The man rides glorious in the moon;
The school is by the teacher still'd,
The pulpit by the preacher fill'd:
  Such is the virgin in my eyes,
  That lives, loves, marries, ere she dies.

Like a cage without a bird,
Or a thing too long deferr'd;
Like the gold was never tried,
Or the ground unoccupied;
Like a house that's not possess'd,
Or the book was never press'd:
  Just such as these may she be said
  That lives, ne'er loves, but dies a maid.

The bird in cage doth sweetly sing,
Due season prefers every thing;
The gold that's tried from dross is pured,
There's profit in the ground manured;
The house is by possession graced,
The book when press'd is then embraced;
  Such is the virgin in my eyes,
  That lives, loves, marries, ere she dies.