Night, do not steal away; I woo thee yet
To hold a hard hand o'er the rusty bit
That guides thy lazy team. Go back again,
Boötes, thou that driv'st thy frozen wain
Round as a ring, and bring a second night,
To hide my sorrows from the coming light;
Let not the eyes of men stare on my face,
And read my falling; give me some black place,
Where never sunbeam shot his wholesome light,
That I may sit and pour out my sad sprite
Like running water, never to be known
After the forcèd fall and sound is gone.
Dwell on the face of darkness? 'Tis thy friend,
Thy Amoret, come hither, to give end
To these consumings. Look up, gentle boy:
I have forgot those pains and dear annoy
I suffered for thy stke, and am content
To be thy love again. Why hast thou rent
Those curlèd locks, where I have often hung
Ribbons and damask-roses, and have flung
Waters distilled, to make thee fresh and gay,
Sweeter than nosegays on a bridal day?
Why dost thou cross thine arms, and hang thy face
Down to thy bosom, letting fall apace
From those two little heavens, upon the ground,
Showers of more price, more orient, and more round,
Than those that hang upon the moon's pale brow?
Cease these complainings, shepherd: I am now
The same I ever was, as kind and free,
And can forgive before you ask of me;
Indeed, I can and will.
Indeed, I can and will. So spoke my fair!
Oh, you great working powers of earth and air,
Water and forming fire, why have you lent
Your hidden virtues of so ill intent?
Even such a face, so fair, so bright of hue,
Had Amoret; such words, so smooth and new,
Came flowing from her tongue; such was her eye,
And such the pointed sparkle that did fly
Forth like a bleeding shaft; all is the same,
The robe and buskins, printed hook, and frame
Of all her body. Oh me, Amoret!
Shepherd, what means this riddle? who hath set
So strong a difference 'twixt myself and me,
That I am grown another? Look, and see
The ring thou gav'st me, and about my wrist
That curious bracelet thou thyself didst twist
From those fair tresses. Know'st thou Amoret?
Hath not some newer love forced thee forget,
Thy ancient faith?
Thy ancient faith? Still nearer to my love!
These be the very words she oft did prove
Upon my temper; so she still would take
Wonder into her face, and silent make
Signs with her head and hand, as who would say,
Shepherd, remember this another day.
Am I not Amoret? where was I lost?
Can there be heaven, and time, and men, and most
Of these inconstant? Faith, where art thou fled?
Are all the vows and protestations dead,
The hands held up, the wishes and the heart?
Is there not one remaining, not a part
Of all these to be found? Why, then, I see
Men never knew that virtue, constancy.
Men ever were most blessèd, till cross fate
Brought love and woman forth, unfortunate
To all that ever tasted of their smiles;
Whose actions are all double, full of wiles;
Like to the subtle hare, that 'fore the hounds
Makes many turnings, leaps and many rounds,
This way and that way, to deceive the scent
Of her pursuers.
Thou art all these, and more than nature meant,
When she created all; frowns, joys, content;
Extreme fire for an hour, and presently
Colder than sleepy poison, or the sea
Upon whose face sits a continual frost;
Your actions ever driven to the most,
Then down again as low, that none can find
The rise or falling of a woman's mnd.
Can there be any age, or days, or time,
Or tongues of men, guilty so great a crime
As wronging simple maid? Oh, Perigot,
Thou that wast yesterday without a blot;
Thou that wast every good and everything
That men call blessèd; thou that wast the spring
From whence our looser grooms drew all their best;
Thou that wast always just and always blest
In faith and promise; thou that hadst the name
Of virtuous given thee, and made good the same
Even from thy cradle; thou that wast that all
That men delighted in! Oh, what a fall
Is this, to have been so, and now to be
The only best in wrong and infamy!
And I to live to know this! and by me,
That loved thee dearer than mine eyes, or that
Which we esteemed our honour, virgin-state!
Dearer than swallows love the early morn,
Or dogs of chase the sound of merry horn;
Dearer than thou canst love thy new love, if thou hast
Another, and far dearer than the last;
Dearer than thou canst love thyself, though all
The self-love were within thee that did fall
With that coy swain that now is made a flower,
For whose dear sake Echo weeps many a shower!
And am I thus rewarded for my flame?
Loved worthily to get a wanton's name?
Come, thou forsaken willow, wind my head,
And noise it to the world, my love is dead!
I am forsaken, I am cast away,
And left for every lazy groom to say
I was unconstant, light, and sooner lost
Than the quick clouds we see, or the chill frost
When the hot sun beats on it! Tell me yet,
Canst thou not love again thy Amoret?
Thou art not worthy of that blessed name:
I must not know thee: fling thy wanton flame
Upon some lighter blood that may be hot
With words and feignèd passions; Perigot
Was ever yet unstained, and shall not now
Stoop to the meltings of a borrowed brow.
Then hear me, Heaven, to whom I call for right,
And you, fair twinkling stars, that crown the night;
And hear me, woods, and silence of this place,
And ye, sad hours, that move a sullen pace;
Hear me, ye shadows, that delight to dwell
In horrid darkness, and ye powers of hell,
Whilst I breathe out my last! I am that maid,
That yet-untainted Amoret, that played
The careless prodigal, and gave away
My soul to this young man that now dares say
I am a stranger, not the same, more vild;
And thus with much belief I was beguiled:
I am that maid, that have delayed, denied,
And almost scorned the loves of all that tried
To win me, but this swain; and yet confess
I have been wooed by many with no less
Soul of affection; and have often had
Rings, belts, and cracknels, sent me from the lad
That feeds his flocks down westward; lambs and doves
By young Alexis; Daphnis sent me gloves;
All which I give to thee: nor these nor they
That sent them did I smile on, or e'er lay
Up to my after-memory. But why
Do I resolve to grieve, and not to die?
Happy had been the stroke thou gav'st, if home;
By this time had I found a quiet room,
Where every slave is free, and every breast,
That living bred new care, now lies at rest;
And thither will poor Amoret.
And thither will poor Amoret. Thou must.
Was ever any man so loath to trust
His eyes as I? or was there ever yet
Any so like as this to Amoret?
For whose dear sake I promise, if there be
A living soul within thee, thus to free
Thy body from it!
See, the day begins to break,
And the light shoots like a streak
Of subtle fire; the wind blows cold,
Whilst the morning doth unfold;
Now the birds begin to rouse,
And the squirrel from the boughs
Leaps, to get him nuts and fruit:
The early lark, that erst was mute,
Carols to the rising day
Many a note and many a lay:
Therefore here I end my watch,
Lest the wandering swain should catch
Harm, or lose himself.
Yet more blood!
Sure, these wanton swains are wood.
Can there be a hand or heart
Dare commit so vild a part
As this murder? By the moon,
That hid herself when this was done,
Never was a sweeter face:
I will bear her to the place
Where my goddess keeps, and crave
Her to give her life or grave.